Herrera, Santiago

Middle East and North Africa
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Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomics, Egypt, International Finance, Expenditure Efficiency Measurement and Benchmarking, Latin America
Middle East and North Africa
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Last updated: February 1, 2023
Santiago Herrera Aguilera is the Lead Country Economist for Egypt in the Middle East and North Africa region at the World Bank. He has been in this position since September of 2008. He first joined the Bank in May of 1998 as a Senior Economist working for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. In February of 2004 he became the Lead Economist for economic policy at the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network in Washington. Prior to joining the Bank, Aguilera was the Deputy Minister of Finance in Columbia from 1995 to 1996. Before that, he was the Director of the National Budget also at the Columbian Ministry of Finance. Aguilera holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from Columbia University in New York. He also holds a Masters degree in Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Columbia.

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  • Publication
    Long-Run Growth in Ghana : Determinants and Prospects
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-11) Herrera, Santiago
    Ghana's economic growth picked up in the early 2000s and has been exceptionally strong over the past few years, with price booms of its main commodity exports, gold and cocoa, and the initiation of commercial oil production in 2011. This paper examines recent econometric evidence on Ghana's long-term growth and evaluates its sustainability. The empirical evidence surveyed finds that Ghana's main growth drivers were investment, oil, and mineral rents, while government consumption acted as a growth retardant. Based on various scenarios for its determinants, per capita GDP growth rates are predicted to be between 3.5 and 4.5 percent for 2014-34. Nevertheless, the predictions are subject to considerable uncertainty associated with the expected trends and volatility of the drivers of growth, particularly to sustaining investment levels and external factors such as commodity prices and international capital flows. A growth decomposition exercise shows that Ghana's past growth was led by capital accumulation, which will be difficult to sustain given the high current account deficits and the volatility of capital flows. Hence, a switch toward a productivity-based growth strategy, instead of the investment-led growth strategy of the past, is the only viable alternative to sustain the recent high growth rates. For that, Ghana needs focus on policies that enhance government effectiveness and public spending efficiency. To mitigate the risk of falling into the so-called growth traps like many other countries, Ghana must resolve its macroeconomic imbalances and resume the institutional reform to enhance the quality of institutions and make growth more inclusive.